GARDNER – Grundy County sheriff’s deputies are on the hunt for a man they say burglarized one home and attempted to burglarize numerous others in the Gardner area.
Sean M. Hewitt, 43, with a last-known address in Waterman, is wanted in connection with residential burglary and attempted residential burglary of multiple homes on Wednesday, Sheriff Kevin Callahan said Friday. His bond has been set for $100,000.
“A warrant was issued yesterday as a result of a report taken Wednesday morning of a suspicious vehicle,” Callahan said.
Hewitt was last seen in a gold 1997 Chevrolet Blazer that was missing its driver’s side mirror. Anyone who sees this car or Hewitt is urged to call local authorities. Authorities were able to identify a suspect because of the due diligence of local residents, Callahan said. At one of the homes, Callahan said, Hewitt came to the door and when the resident answered Hewitt asked him if someone was home who did not live there. The resident was suspicious and called police.
Following the call to the police, the resident called a neighbor on another block in the direction Hewitt’s vehicle was headed and told his neighbor to be watchful. The second Gardner resident saw Hewitt approach two other homes before going to a third one, where the sheriff’s office alleges he broke in. That resident also saw what direction the burglar headed and reported it.
“I can’t say enough about what the residents did here. It’s a textbook example of how neighborhood watch should work,” Callahan said.
The reports included a description of the car and a license plate number that helped the sheriff’s office track down Hewitt’s identification. It is believed a woman was driving the vehicle, but that person has not been identified yet, Callahan said.
“With this investigation, I don’t know where we would be without the people down there ... who got involved,” he said.
The sheriff stressed that people should never hesitate to call the police if they feel something doesn’t look or seem right.